O’Plerou Grebet, a 21-year-old Ivorian student, has created the ‘Zouzoukwa African emojis’ which has more than 350 downloadable emojis with West African cultural references.

His motivation for developing these emojis is to create something Africans can relate to.

Speaking in an interview with BBC Africa, Mr Grebet noted, ‘Basically my idea was to create emojis so Africans can have emojis they relate to. My name is O’Plerou Grebet. I am 21 years old. I am the inventor of Zouzoukwa African emojis’

“My five favourite emojis are the bissap (hibiscus juice) bag. It is the most beautiful to me. The point-point, a game I played when I was younger in school, You have: You saw that? we say this a lot in Ivory Coast, Senegal’s ‘Car Rapide’, I never took it but I love its design and the Afro brush for my hair” he stated.

Emojis are ideograms and smileys used in electronic messages and web pages. Emoji exist in various genres, including facial expressions, common objects, places and types of weather, and animals.

O’Plerou Grebet has won two awards for his creation and aims to study 3D design and virtual reality so he can find new ways of honouring African tradition.

“I won two awards for my creations. The next step for me after Zouzoukwa, is to learn about 3D and Virtual Reality in order to create filters and find a new way to pay tribute to the African culture”, he indicated.

Watch interview with Ivorian student below: